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20 Wedding Details Couples Usually Forget When Planning

Don't overlook these important details.

No one would deny that planning a wedding can be overwhelming. There are so many details to decide on—from big ones like the venue to the kind of florals you want on your reception tables—and, for many couples, organizing so many different elements at once can make it difficult to keep track of what they've done so far. If you're in the thick of wedding planning, you might be thinking, "Am I missing anything important either before the festivities happen or on the big day?" While you might feel like you have all the major items checked off on your to-do list, there are actually plenty of small things that couples often forget about entirely.

To help ensure you don't miss out on any important details, we asked four wedding planners to share the most common things couples generally forget to do before or during their wedding. With this expert advice, you'll be able to learn from the mistakes of others and enjoy a flawlessly executed day.

Meet the Expert

  • Alyssa Pettinato is an event planner in New York City who specializes in weddings along with corporate events.
  • Shannon Hodges is the lead designer for Hill & Co, a wedding design and planning company in Charleston.
  • Melissa Best is the founder and lead consultant for Daybreak Management Group.
  • Olha Barabash is the founder and lead wedding planner for Sense of Moment
Closeup photo of wedding tablescape with white and pink florals, blue and white printed dinnerware, and silverware

Photo by Valorie Darling; Design by Mehroz Kapadia

Silverware Rentals

"Typically everyone overlooks the rentals, which are super important and very expensive details at times," says Alyssa Pettinato, an event planner in New York City who specializes in weddings along with corporate events. "Nobody ever thinks silverware will be as expensive as it is, and it’s extremely important!" If your venue takes care of it, there's nothing to think about, but if it doesn't, make sure to rent the silverware, which enhances the look of any wedding table and ensure guests have the utensils necessary to enjoy their meals.

Flowers for the Couple's Parents

"Another thing people forget is some of the personals for flowers like extra boutonnières for dads and corsages for moms," shares Pettinato. Once you order them, don't forget to make sure everyone is wearing them on the big day. "You wouldn’t believe the amount of times photos have started and I’ve seen the groomsmen without the boutonnieres put on," she adds.

A Seamstress on Hand

Yes, you had attire fittings, but accidents do happen. "We try to remind our [couples] the importance of making sure they have everything they need for a successful morning while getting ready," says Shannon Hodges, lead designer for Hill & Co, a wedding design and planning company in Charleston. "That means making sure there is someone available to help steam dresses or fix a busted hem."

The Marriage License

Getting a marriage license may be tedious, but it is one of the most important parts of any wedding. After all, a couple isn't legally married without it. Don't forget to get one and bring it to the festivities, reminds Pettinato. "I always send multiple reminders about the marriage license, but there have been moments where people have to run back to the hotel."

Being Present

"Many couples forget to be present," adds Melissa Best, founder and lead consultant for Daybreak Management Group, an event planning company in New York City. "The day goes by so quickly. It's important to take deep breaths and take it all in."

Eating on the Big Day

Couples can get so wrapped up in the festivities on their big day that they forget to eat. Not only do the main players need nourishment to get themselves through the excitement, but they also want to enjoy the food they spent months (or years) picking out. "Everyone also always forgets to eat so I’m always reminding everyone to eat and hydrate throughout the day," adds Pettinato. It's also a good idea to remember to have food available for you and your wedding party while getting ready.

Payments for Vendors

"A lot of vendors will handle most of the payments prior to the wedding day, but there are a lot of vendors that collect the last payment a few days after or need to run the card after [the wedding]," reveals Pettinato. "This can be a little overwhelming so I always try to get couples to handle this prior to the wedding day."

Wedding Lighting

"Lighting seems to be an overlooked component quite often," says Olha Barabash, founder and lead wedding planner for Sense of Moment, a wedding planning company in New York City. "Remember that it is crucial to set sufficient room and space lighting to properly elevate those floral masterpieces and other details. Never underestimate the importance of the lighting and what huge impact it may have on the wedding design and overall ambience."

A Backup Plan for Heat and Sun

"While everyone always talks about a rain backup plan, a lot of couples forget about a heat or sun backup plan, especially for outdoor weddings," explains Barabash. Sunlight can be harmful to string instruments, so musicians need a place to play that is out of the sun. If it's hot outside, your guests will need water to drink and fans to cool themselves off as well.

Bride and groom recessing down aisle with arrangements of blue delphinium and backdrop of white and blue hydrangeas

Photo by Bo Shim Photography; Design by Mehroz Kapadia

Including Yourself in the Guest Count

As you are factoring in numbers for how many entrées you'll need and chairs at the reception, remember that you and your fiancé should not be forgotten. "Sometimes couples forget to include themselves in the final guest count," says Barabash. "It's the smallest and the most obvious detail, but yet, it still happens."

Take Your Daily Medications

This may also seem obvious, but sometimes couples get wrapped up in the festivities and forget to take their daily medications. "You must have them on you the day of the wedding," reminds Barabash.

Transportation to the Venues

It's always important to make sure you coordinate transportation for you and your wedding party to the venues. You don't want to rely on Uber availability in a remote location, so try to arrange rides ahead of time.

A Thank-You Speech

Many couples forget to prepare remarks to thank their families, friends, and guests, or they decide to wing it. That is a mistake, reveals Barabash. "Whether it’s a brief thank you or dedicated toast after the cake cutting, make sure you have it ready," she says. Another tip? "Don’t use your phone," she adds. "A written or printed card works perfectly fine."

Reserve Seats for Family

If you want family members or friends to have reserved seats during the ceremony, don't forget to place signs on seats for them or rope off an area.

Writing the Vows

"A lot of couples forget to prioritize writing their vows," says Best. "I can't tell you the number of couples still fine-tuning their vows on their wedding day. The vows are the heart of the ceremony and the foundation of a marriage."

Taking Pictures With Certain Guests

"Photographers and planners will always put an extra emphasis on [the wedding] party and family photos," says Best. "However, sometimes couples look back on their photos and realize that they should have created space for pictures with their guests also. A fun way to do this is via a photo booth or taking a moment during the reception to greet the guests at each table and have the photographer take a group picture."

Assigning Someone to Gather Gifts

If guests bring presents or you leave out a card box at your wedding, don't forget to assign someone to collect the gifts and deliver them to you after the festivities. You don't want to forget them at the venue.

A Phone Charger

Your wedding day can be long and your phone battery might die! Keep a charger on hand to make sure you can use your phone on your big day if you desire. A portable charger is also helpful so you can easily stay on the go.

Thank-You Notes for Vendors

During the craziness of the wedding, it can be easy for couples to forget to thank their vendors. These are the people who made your big day happen, so it's important to show your appreciation, expresses Pettinato. "I always tell my couples to send thank you notes to all the vendors," she shares. "Usually I help them with this, but it’s always good to let everybody know that you appreciated all of their efforts for the day of your wedding."

Vendor Gratuity

To really show your appreciation to vendors, consider adding a tip to your thank you note. "Gratuity is important," reminds Hodges. "If a couple feels like they have received exceptional service, it is a great idea to make sure your vendors know they did an A-plus job."

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